• Rytas Vilgalys

  • Duke Herbarium
  • 354 Bio Sci Building
  • Campus Box 90338
  • Phone: (919) 660-7361, (919) 660-7362
  • Fax: (919) 660-7293
  • Homepage
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Specialties

    • Fungi
  • Teaching

    • BIOLOGY 557L.01
      • MICROBIAL ECOL/EVOL
      • French Sci 1244
      • TuTh 08:30 AM-11:30 AM
  • Education

      • PhD,
      • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,
      • 1985
      • MS Botany,
      • Virginia Tech,
      • 1982
      • BA Botany,
      • State University of New York College at Geneseo,
      • 1978
  • Awards, Honors and Distinctions

      • see cv,
      • December, 2007
      • New York State Regents Scholarship,
      • 1975-1978
      • AAAS Fellow,
      • 0 2002
      • Mid-Career Fellowship,
      • Mycological Society of America,
      • 0 2002
      • Alexopolous Award,
      • Mycological Society of America,
      • 0 1995
      • Outstanding dissertation award,
      • College of Arts and Sciences, Virginia Tech,
      • 0 1986
      • Gertrude S. Burlingham Fellowship,
      • New York Botanical Garden,
      • 0 1983
  • Selected Publications

      • Benitez, M, Hersh, M H and Vilgalys, R and Clark, J S.
      • (December, 2013).
      • Pathogen regulation of plant diversity via effective specialization.
      • Trends in Ecology and Evolution
      • ,
      • 28
      • ,
      • 705-711.
      • Gryganskyi, A P and Humber, R A and Stajich, J E and Mullens, B and Anishchenko, I M and Vilgalys, R.
      • (2013).
      • Sequential Utilization of Hosts from Different Fly Families by Genetically Distinct, Sympatric Populations within the Entomophthora muscae Species Complex.
      • PLoS ONE
      • ,
      • 8
      • (8)
      • ,
      • e71168.
      • Bonito, G and Smith, M E and Nowak, M and Healy, R A and G, Gonzalo and Cazares, E and Kinoshita, A and Nouhra, E R and Dominguez, L S and Tedersoo, L and Murat, C and Wang, Y and Moreno, B A and Pfister, D H and Nara, K and Zambonelli, A and Trappe, J M and Vilgalys, R.
      • (2013).
      • Historical biogeography and diversification of truffles in the Tuberaceae and their newly identified southern hemisphere sister lineage..
      • PLoS ONE
      • ,
      • 8
      • (1)
      • ,
      • e52765.
      • Smith, M E and Henkel, T W and Uehling, J K and Fremier, A K and Clarke, H D and Vilgalys, R.
      • (2013).
      • The Ectomycorrhizal Fungal Community in a Neotropical Forest Dominated by the Endemic Dipterocarp Pakaraimaea dipterocarpacea.
      • PLoS ONE
      • ,
      • 8
      • (1)
      • ,
      • e55160.
      • Weber, C F and Vilgalys, R and Kuske, C R.
      • (2013).
      • Changes in Fungal Community Composition in Response to Elevated Atmospheric CO2 and Nitrogen Fertilization Varies with Soil Horizon.
      • Frontiers in Microbiology
      • ,
      • 4
      • ,
      • 1--14.
      • Shakya, M and Gottel, N and Castro, H and Yang, Z K and Gunter, L and Labbe, J and Muchero, W and Bonito, G and Vilgalys, R and Tuskan, G and Podar, M and Schadt, C W.
      • (2013).
      • A Multifactor Analysis of Fungal and Bacterial Community Structure in the Root Microbiome of Mature Populus deltoides Trees..
      • PLoS ONE
      • ,
      • 8
      • (10)
      • ,
      • e76382.
      • Hersh, M., James Clark, Rytas Vilgalys.
      • (2012).
      • Evaluating the impacts of multiple generalist fungal pathogens on temperate tree seedling survival..
      • Ecology
      • ,
      • 93
      • ,
      • 511–520.
      Publication Description

      10..

      • Dunbar J, Eichorst SA, Gallegos-Graves L, Silva S, Xie G, Hengartner NW, Evans RD, Hungate BA, Jackson RB, Megonigal JP, Schadt CW, Vilgalys R, Zak DR, Kuske CR..
      • (2012).
      • Common bacterial responses in six ecosystems exposed to 10 years of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide..
      • Environmental Microbiology
      • ,
      • 14
      • ,
      • 1145-1158.
      • C F Weber and D R Zak and B A Hungate and R B Jackson and R Vilgalys and R D Evans and C W Schadt and J P Megonigal and C R Kuske.
      • (2011).
      • Responses of soil cellulolytic fungal communities to elevated atmospheric CO(2) are complex and variable across five ecosystems.
      • Environmental microbiology
      • ,
      • 13
      • (10)
      • ,
      • 2778--2793.
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      Elevated atmospheric CO(2) generally increases plant productivity and subsequently increases the availability of cellulose in soil to microbial decomposers. As key cellulose degraders, soil fungi are likely to be one of the most impacted and responsive microbial groups to elevated atmospheric CO(2) . To investigate the impacts of ecosystem type and elevated atmospheric CO(2) on cellulolytic fungal communities, we sequenced 10 677 cbhI gene fragments encoding the catalytic subunit of cellobiohydrolase I, across five distinct terrestrial ecosystem experiments after a decade of exposure to elevated CO(2) . The cbhI composition of each ecosystem was distinct, as supported by weighted Unifrac analyses (all P-values; 

      • N R Gottel and H F Castro and M Kerley and Z Yang and D A Pelletier and M Podar and T Karpinets and E Uberbacher and G A Tuskan and R Vilgalys and M J Doktycz and C W Schadt.
      • (2011).
      • Distinct microbial communities within the endosphere and rhizosphere of Populus deltoides roots across contrasting soil types.
      • Applied and Environmental Microbiology
      • ,
      • 77
      • (17)
      • ,
      • 5934--44.
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      The root-rhizosphere interface of Populus is the nexus of a variety of associations between bacteria, fungi, and the host plant and an ideal model for studying interactions between plants and microorganisms. However, such studies have generally been confined to greenhouse and plantation systems. Here we analyze microbial communities from the root endophytic and rhizospheric habitats of Populus deltoides in mature natural trees from both upland and bottomland sites in central Tennessee. Community profiling utilized 454 pyrosequencing with separate primers targeting the V4 region for bacterial 16S rRNA and the D1/D2 region for fungal 28S rRNA genes. Rhizosphere bacteria were dominated by Acidobacteria (31%) and Alphaproteobacteria (30%), whereas most endophytes were from the Gammaproteobacteria (54%) as well as Alphaproteobacteria (23%). A single Pseudomonas-like operational taxonomic unit (OTU) accounted for 34% of endophytic bacterial sequences. Endophytic bacterial richness was also highly variable and 10-fold lower than in rhizosphere samples originating from the same roots. Fungal rhizosphere and endophyte samples had approximately equal amounts of the Pezizomycotina (40%), while the Agaricomycotina were more abundant in the rhizosphere (34%) than endosphere (17%). Both fungal and bacterial rhizosphere samples were highly clustered compared to the more variable endophyte samples in a UniFrac principal coordinates analysis, regardless of upland or bottomland site origin. Hierarchical clustering of OTU relative abundance patterns also showed that the most abundant bacterial and fungal OTUs tended to be dominant in either the endophyte or rhizosphere samples but not both. Together, these findings demonstrate that root endophytic communities are distinct assemblages rather than opportunistic subsets of the rhizosphere.

  • View All Publications
  • Postdoctoral Students

    • Gregory Bonito
      • 2009-20013
    • Sunny Liou
      • 2012-present
    • Soledad Benitez-Ponce
      • 2011-present
      • Soledad is working with Jim Clark and our lab on ecology of forest pathogens.
    • Brantlee Richter
      • 2010-2011
      • Brantlee worked with myself and Jim Clark on forest seedling pathology. Last February, she took a position as lecturer in the Dept. of Plant Pathology, Univ. of Florida. Good luck Brantlee!
    • Matthew Smith
      • 2009-2011
      • Matt recently landed a tenure track position as mycologist at the Univ. of Florida. Congratulations, Dr. Smith. This is also the son of a bitch who named a new lichen species after me!.
    • Teresa Porter
      • 2008 - 2010
      • Teri is the current postdoc on our NSF Tree of Life project. Her specialty areas include current approaches to study of fungal biodiversity, including molecular phylogenetics, and environmental genomics.
    • Andrii Grygansky
      • 2008-present
      • Andrii, a visiting scientist from the Ukraine, is investigating the phylogeny and mating biology of several diverse basal fungal lineages once known as Zygomycetes, including the human pathogen Rhizopus, as well as insect-pathogens belonging to the family Entomopthorales. Andrii is also contributing data to our NSF Fungal Tree of Life Project.
    • Timothy James
      • 2003 - 2006
      • current: Assistant Professor, Univ. Michigan
    • Annette Golonka
      • 2002 - 2006
      • current: Asst. Professor, Univ. So. Carolina at Lancaster
    • Valerie Hofstetter
      • 2002 - 2006
    • Ana Litvintseva
      • 2001 - 2006
      • Current: assistant research professor in the Dept. of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center
    • Austin Ganley
      • 2000 - 2002
      • current: Research Scientist, National Institute for Basic Biology, Aichi, Japan
    • Robert Marra
      • 2000 - 2003
      • current position: Research Scientist, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT
    • Ursula Peintner
      • 1999 - 2001
      • current position: Assistant Professor, Institute for Microbiology, Innsbruck
    • Anja Forche
      • 1998 - 2000
      • current: postdoctoral associate, Dept. of Biology, Univ. Minnesota
    • James Johnson
      • 1997 - 2000
      • current: Assoc. Professor, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA
    • Jianping Xu
      • 1996 - 2000
      • current position: Assistant Professor, McMaster, Univ., Hamilton, Ontario
    • Jean-Marc Moncalvo
      • 1995 - 2002
      • current: Associate Curator, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
    • Wendy Untereiner
      • 1995 - 1996
      • current position: assoc. professor, Dept. of Biology, Univ. Manitoba
    • Joseph Spatafora
      • 1992 - 1994
      • current position: Professor, Dept. of Plant Biology, Oregon State Univ
    • Marc Cubeta
      • 1992 - 1994
      • current position: assoc. prof., Dept. of Plant Pathology, NC State University
    • Louise Lewis
      • 1989 - 1992
      • current position: assoc. prof., Dept. of Biology, Univ. of Connecticut
    • Wieland Meyer
      • 1989 - 1992
      • current position: Senior Research Scientist, Univ. Sydney, Australia
    • Steven L. Rehner
      • 1988 - 1989
      • current position: Research Scientist., USDA, Beltsville, MD
    • Marianela Rodriguez
      • 20102012 - present
  • PhD Students

    • Nicholas Pun
      • September, 2013 - present
    • Jessie Uehling
    • Gwendolyn Williams
      • 2007-present
      • Fungal succession during transition from old field to forest
    • Jeri L. Parrent
      • 2006
      • Status: Graduated
      • Ph.D. in 2006: Effects of CO2 enrichment on fungal communities
      • Thesis: Effects of CO2 enrichment on fungal communities
    • Daniel Henk
      • 2000-2005
      • Ph.D recieved 2005, coevolution of fungi and insects
    • Greg Bonito
      • 2003-2008
      • Systematics of Truffles (Tuber). Greg is currently the senior postdoc for our DOE project on Populus mycorrhizae.
    • Jason A Jackson
      • 2005-2010
      • molecular ecology of soil fungi. Jason is now a Research Scientist for the Forest Service.
    • Hannah Reynolds
      • 2005-current
      • Biogeogrpahy and systematics of false truffles in the genus Elaphomyces. Hannah recently graduated and has moved to her new postdoc position where she will be studying the fungal agent of white nose syndrome in bats!
Rytas Vilgalys
  • background